The University of Toronto’s open access initiatives have proven successful enough to merit further expansion, vice-president and provost Cheryl Misak announced at a Governing Council meeting last Thursday.
The university’s recent efforts include Open UToronto, an online portal for the university’s freely available content and resources, and a partnership with Coursera to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs).
While it may be too early to judge Open UToronto’s success in opening pathways often closed to non-university students, the university has made progress in diversifying its approach to online learning, from the Coursera MOOCs to this year’s new, entirely-online courses.
Near the end of her presentation Misak briefly discussed the fiscal implications of open access. While stressing that online courses are “no attempt to teach our students in a less expensive, less personal way,” Misak noted there were several revenue possibilities open to discussion.
“There will always be a completely open way of taking the exams,” she said. “But if you want a certificate of mastery or achievement, there would be some charge for that, and the university would get some of it.”
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